One of New Zealand’s leading palliative care specialists has joined forces with an internationally renowned health chef to create a world-first cookbook for people with life limiting illness or at end of life.

Lobster for Josino: Fabulous food for our final days features pages of practical tips and more than 100 innovative recipes (including molecular gastronomy) that promote beautiful food and personal choice for people who may have only a short time to live.

Professor Rod MacLeod MNZM provided key clinical insights for the book, which has been endorsed by celebrity chef Sean Connolly, well known for The Grill by Sean Connolly at Auckland’s SkyCity Grand Hotel, and for numerous TV food shows.

Prof MacLeod, whose palliative care research and books are respected around the globe, partnered with a team of authors including former British Royal Family chef, Peter Morgan Jones, for whom the book is a very personal project.

“I worked with Josino at the Sydney Opera House and some years later his wife contacted me to say he was dying, and had asked to see me and another former colleague,” Peter said.

“During our visit at a Sydney hospital, Josino’s lunch arrived and his shoulders dropped as he lifted the plastic lid. He told me he couldn’t eat it and wished he could choose his own meals. I asked him what he wanted and he gave me a cheeky grin and said, ‘Lobster, Peter.’

“I went to the Sydney Fish Markets and sourced a lobster but hospital staff would not agree to me preparing him a lobster meal. I returned a couple of days later and Josino was unconscious and sadly, never recovered, and never got his lobster.”

Peter describes this as a watershed moment in his illustrious restaurant career and in part inspired him to redirect his work towards revolutionising the approach to food for vulnerable people such as those living with dementia and, now, those who are in palliative care.

Prof MacLeod says, “Palliative care seeks to support quality of life to the very end and nothing shows this quite like being able to make those very personal food and drink choices that bring comfort, dignity and a sense of control and identity for people in their last days.”

Lobster for Josino uses a range of innovation from molecular ‘Guinness air’ to dehydrated fruit, Scotch mouth swabs to Christmas pudding mist and of course the lobster dish that anyone can enjoy – all to ensure no one misses out on their favourite food and drink.

Lobster for Josino is being launched in Sydney by the CEO of Palliative Care Australia, Liz Callaghan, during Palliative Care Week (May 20-26) and will be available through Australian and New Zealand booksellers, and at crackingrecipes.com.

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